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Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 can finally be rooted

Posted by wicked July - 22 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

alcatel onetouch idol 3 review aa (25 of 27)

Got yourself an Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3? Good choice! We named it one of the best budget phones of 2015 in our review, and now it can get even better. XDA’s developer community has finally achieved root, after having to wait a couple months after the phone’s release.

This comes as great news to OneTouch Idol 3 users who have been itching to tinker with the phone’s software. Those who have been following the progress will know achieving root on this smartphone became a bit of a complication, due to issues with entering fastboot mode. This was no hindrance to XDA users frankee207DallasCZ, and Gynoid, though. These guys worked their way around the obstacles by studying an exploit on phone with similar complications.

alcatel onetouch idol 3 aa 10

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind rooting, unlocking your bootloader or tinkering with your phone’s software in any way is not safe. There is a chance you could void your warranty or even damage your phone permanently. If you are to root your Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3, we advice that you be careful and do a fair amount of research before doing so, as only you will be held responsible for any issue you may encounter. 

Let us continue. All steps have been compiled, organized and published at a post from DallasCZ, so you can simply read his thread to see how you can finally gain access to your phone’s true potential.

alcatel onetouch idol 3 aa 3

This exploit works on the latest software version of the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3. Keep in mind this solution has only been tested with the 5.5-inch version of the device. If you own the smaller 4.7-inch iteration, your best bet is to wait patiently.

With this out of the way, it is only a matter of time before ROMs for the Aclatel OneTouch Idol 3 start showing up. That’s when things will get more interesting! How many of you have been waiting for the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 to achieve root? Will you be going through this process?

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 in video

No, Root Is Not Coming To The LG G4 Just Yet

Posted by wicked June - 10 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Jcase root lg g4

By now many of you will have heard that Senior Recognized Developer jcase in collaboration with autoprime and thecubed were successfully able to root the LG G4. Many of you understandably had questions regarding the break through, so we reached out to jcase to find out some of the details and the stage of development they are on.

 

What Exactly Happened?

As you may have seen on his Youtube page, he has indeed achieved root on the LG G4. If you haven’t had a chance yet, take a minute to check out the video below and get up to speed.

So Are We Getting Root, Or Not?

Yes and no. The first LG G4 he attempted this on unfortunately did not survive the attempt and whilst he was successful on his second device it remains unsafe. When we asked, he had this to say on the subject “I don’t believe this one will ever be released, it is not easy, not safe and I am unable to package it in a way to protect it. I do plan to release a safer option when possible however there is no ETA on that at the moment.” For the moment the current method will be used for further research. He also requests that users do not contact him regarding the status of the project until it is complete.

This is by no means the first time jcase has achieved root on a device, he has a long history on the subject. We do have to remember though that this is his career and not just a hobby, he may often have to hold off on releasing until he is completely ready, as was seen with his Motorola root last year.

What Happens Next?

We will keep you informed on the status of the root. If you are in the process of working on your own root method, by all means continue. We do not know when we will see a stable method. However, it is great to see that there is indeed some progress.

Are you waiting on root for your LG G4? Leave a comment below!

The post No, Root Is Not Coming To The LG G4 Just Yet appeared first on xda-developers.

Voices of XDA: All IT-Guys, Right?

Posted by wicked June - 10 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

IT workers

Editor’s note: This weeks feature has been written by forum member laufersteppenwolf and takes a look at a popular misconception that everyone at XDA faces on a regular basis; we are in fact not all involved in IT outside of XDA in either career or education. 

 

 

It’s no secret that here at XDA we have many exceptional developers. They are so good in fact that they must be developers, programmers, CS professors and such in real life as well, right? This at least, is what most users not just here on XDA but also outside of the community think. To be honest, before I became a Forum Moderator I did as well. Now after actively working on XDA for quite some time, I have come to know better.

No doubt many, if not most “famous” developers here on XDA are working in the IT business in real life. As already reported here. Our Senior Recognized Developer’s would be a prime example of this:  jcase, for example, works as a mobile security researcher, Rebellos works as a Software Developer and Virus is a master technician at Apple. Whilst discussing this phenomenon with several of the Recognized Developers, I discovered that many were Computer Science students (AChep, GermainZ) or Computer Science lecturers (doixanh).

So, all that I just said proved me wrong, right? All of said developers are actually working or studying something related to software engineering, right? Well I also found developers not working in the IT business. One of the most widely known developers would be codeworkx, who completed an apprenticeship in mechatronics and works on XDA and smartphone hacking as a hobby. The same applies to myself, I am currently doing an apprenticeship as a mechatronics engineer and keep developing as a big hobby. Last but not least, we have our Portal Editor MathewBrack who just graduated in agriculture. You can find many more examples like this in this thread, dedicated to discussing the jobs of our members.

You may ask yourself now “That’s great and all, but wouldn’t it be best to leave the software developing to the guys actually knowing what they are doing?”, but then I have to ask, why? I guess people like codeworkx have more than proven that you don’t have to study computer science in order to be good in software development. In fact, I can see many benefits to knowing more than just the one side to a subject; you as a developer have better insight in to what the user actually needs than if you would just write a piece of software “blindly”. While it may do the exact same thing, tiny details could make the difference in the end-user’s choice and experience.

As an example, during my apprenticeship I am working a lot with mills, lathes and of course drills. This means I have to calculate my cutting data for every tool and material. The logical thought was that there has to be an app out there that could do this job quite easily within a few seconds – but I was wrong. While there were a handful of such calculators out there, they were anything but easy to use. Actually, it was faster calculating the data manually than using the app. If I would have been a “normal” worker I would have had to either use those available apps or do my calculations manually. Luckily, however, my hobby was software developing for mobile, because of which I had the opportunity to create an app specifically designed for simplicity and speed.

There is yet another side effect, and definitely a positive one for your colleagues: When they have an issue with their phone, they always know who to ask to resolve the issues ”</p

XDA Forum Member Opinions on I/O and Android M

Posted by wicked June - 3 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Public-opinion

Google’s I/O event this year brought many announcements that affected us as developers. To better understand just how our community felt about the new products and services, we reached out to some of you in the forums. We received many great responses; here are just a few of the things you felt were important.

 

jackfacespoon

“There’s going to be a huge fuss over the smaller but more specific changes to Android, and they’re going to grab the media limelight for the most part. For example, I can already picture the myriad of stories covering disappointing results from things like Doze, or a million apps ungracefully crashing from declined permissions, but as usual, most of these will affect the ‘power users’. What’s actually caught my attention lies more in line with Google’s wider plan.

Firstly, Google (aiming for ‘The Next Billion’ I’m assuming) looks to be focusing on continuing to make things easier for new developers. The new features and changes to Android Studio are pretty huge, and elements like the reduced build times and scalable vector images go a long way to ensure the whole developing process looks far less imposing. Material Design in itself provides a lot of answers to the eternal back and forth question for many developers, namely, how to make a clear but functional UI, but adding to that this year with the Android Design Support Library is the icing on the cake. Want to add a new button? Here’s one, use this. Now everyone can get used to what this icon does, regardless of the app the you’re in. That’s really important for making Android look less convoluted to all its users, and hopefully the addition of more support annotations will help with the reliability of each app and the speed at which they can be tested and ultimately brought to market. Again, for the new developer, this is brilliant.

Secondly, and this is slightly more implied, to me it looks as if Google is slowly adding more features to AOSP that previously you would have only seen in OEM-skinned UI’s. Besides having almost admitted as much, this could be a tactical move rather than a redundant competitiveness for Nexus users. If more of these features are already built into ‘Vanilla’ Android, then the companies that want to add their own flavor on top of the operating system don’t have to spend as much time (and money) developing them themselves, and that means faster updates. Timely software updates have been a very vocal complaint with Android almost since it’s inception, and if this feature-rich AOSP direction continues, combined with the separation and rapid update schedule of Google Play Services, Google could really be on to something.

Now, I’m not foretelling the death of third-party Android builds; manufacturers will always want to add more features, their own style, and fundamentally attempt to differentiate themselves from their rivals, and that’s part of what makes Android so great. After all, we may not have ever had an (admittedly basic and potentially buggy) implementation of multi-window functionality without the efforts of Samsung, LG et al, but in my mind, anything that can take some of the feature development onus away from said manufacturers is beneficial to everyone.”

 

NickName98

“The truth is I was expecting the event to be bigger and more important to the world of android. I’d love if a new nexus 5 was announced this summer. My favourite announcement was the “doze mode”, even if most people didn’t seem to like it. Smartphones these days have great performance, camera, design etc, but the only thing that is maybe getting even worse is the battery, take a look at the S6 for example. So, if doze is gonna make battery better, I like it.

My only concern for Android M, is that Android is becoming less clean. It is now more like a custom rom, this is NOT necessarily a bad thing. What is bad is that manufacturers are going to take that new and “heavier” stock android and add more and more features that will make it run slower. Some of those features may also be the same as stock Android’s so we’ll basically get double all the features or apps. (Android pay-samsung pay, two browsers and other apps, and many battery saving modes etc).”

 

gamer.11

“App permissions: As a user this is a welcomed change as I get to choose what I want to share and my data is finally under my control. As a developer I am worried will the new feature keep bugging the user (if he selected “no”) for that one little network connectivity permission so that I can display my ads for revenue in my file manager app, will it cut in on my ads revenue? (turning down the network permission could be taken out)

Photos (purely a user’s POV): unlimited storage up to 16mp? Sure they compress the image, but this is ok as long as there won’t be any perceivable change in quality of the image. The ability to get a link to photos will be extensively used by all, as this makes it incredibly simple to share the selected album.
NDK support in android studio (a dev’s POV): finally! this is long overdue, sure Android depends a lot on java, but games are still done better using the old native languages (c++). Eclipse has been missing a lot of things from android studio (sure plugins help but they can only do so much) it will be really interesting to see how NDK will evolve with the studio.”

 

Jammol

“Personally, I feel that they have good intentions with the new features that Android M has to offer. Google Photos was separated from Google+ FINALLY! It’s also very user-friendly and easier to use two accounts. The battery saving technique they have come up with is actually rather good. I saw folks complaining that they need to focus on Screen ON Time instead of Screen OFF Time. To me, better SOFFT allows for better SONT.

Users voiced their concerns on LP and it seems as though the team listened. Did they listen to everything? Probably not, but what M has to offer is a good start so far. People however have a lot of concerns when it comes to the new features they have decided to put into M. For me personally, my only concern is with the Automatic Backup feature! User id and password information is sent to Google in plain text format which can be intercepted and there goes your Google account. So far I haven’t seen any secure way mentioned for the data being backed up. I don’t mind basic settings being saved on a server such as XDA Premium App: Dark Mode, notification settings; just to name a few examples. More sensitive data however such as login info, personal notes(Memo app, note app) etc, should stay on the device. I understand how some may find this feature useful in a day-to-day world where people are too busy to save everything they need on an SD Card or their own personal cloud system. However for the majority of us deeper Android users, this can be a nightmare. Now I know a lot of people are going to say that you can just turn it off. Well you can, but from what we saw from the I/O, it’s on automatically and that is very dangerous especially if you’re using an OEM device that receives an OTA. Upon reboot after M update is installed, is my data going to begin backup without me telling it to? That’s what it appears like.

This reminds me of one of the things I hate the most when it comes to Google Play Store; Automatic Updates when connected to Wifi. I flash custom Roms a lot on my device; A LOT and yes I need help. When setting up a new Rom, I like to bring my configuration of apps from the previous set up because I don’t want to go through the trouble of selecting each app to install again. Yes there is Titanium Backup but that has its slew of issues when switching Roms; not knocking the app, it’s great, but it’s not for me. So after I put in my information and I’m brought to the launcher home screen, Play Store goes to work and installs the apps that I had on my list. It also automatically adds apps needing to be updated on the list. This can be a pain if you’re OCD about BLOAT and happen to be trying out a custom OEM Rom that was not debloated to your liking.”

 

FenrirMX

“Since we started to work smart devices into our lives, the one constant we’ve had is a bad to mediocre battery life. Long gone are the days when a charge could last you a week of moderate to heavy use from our old indestructible Nokias. The two features that most hold my interest are the granular app permissions control and the Doze mode.

The first one we’ve all been waiting for since AppOps was “leaked”, and is also the one thing iOS has been ahead of Android for a while. This way we can keep unruly apps under control (looking at you, Facebook!) without a need for root, which may not affect us here in XDA, but not everyone can get root on every device, so this is great news.

And Doze, which is basically the Stamina mode many OEMs, namely Sony, have in their devices. If this one can manage to wrangle Google Play Services, which I’ve found to be the biggest offenders in the battery department, I think M could be a great OS.”

 

Trueray

“The things that really peaked my interest is all the back-end stuff in regards to Android M, especially when it comes to performance and battery life. Doze is a feature I’m really excited about because at times some apps can go rogue due to poor coding both for that particular device or in general. Google finding a way to save battery life even further without totally shutting down major services during standby/sleep is a great achievement by itself.

The ability to manage your permissions is something I think many people have been waiting for including myself. Some people like it for security purposes but my reason again is that it provides users with a way to deal with wakelock problems. Many apps have wakelock issues that can significantly effect battery life and having the power to effectively turn off specific permissions within an app can possibly help rectify any of these problems.

These two features should help users get more out of their devices while maintaining the great user experience that Android M will provide.”

 

magnamentis

“Project ARA progress was my favourite announcement because I strongly believe that modular computing (not only mobile) will be the future and this is the first big and real step in this direction. I was proposing this to my OEM-friends in Shenzhen for around.the last 5 years whilst in the mean time I can see it’s worked on several fronts from different angles of attack. The Nexpaq would be my favourite example while it even has the potential to prevail over ARA because of it’s wider focus.

Doze seems to be quite a hit as well as multi-window, about time I’d say. This is almost as exciting as the choice between dark and light interface and the fact that external SD cards are finally getting out of the corner is just about good style. I have no idea what made the so big, they just make up additional and unnecessary hassle to their users.

I’m indeed concerned about letting Google backup my data “automatically” with no idea as to where, for how long and who will have access. Even though I can choose freely, I prefer to transfer app data via OTG USB-Stick over cloud backups, not even talking about the fact that they can take forever (chrome backup haha) I shall certainly stick with offline backups which I later can copy to my computer for safety.”

 

opssemnik

“Android M: While it didn´t get everyone excited, it got me, sure it won’t bring a lot of new things or new UI elements, however android M seems to be marking a point in the history of android, it finally seems that Android is getting mature, it’s finally a system made with every part in mind, the “core” with all Android’s customizability and power, the UI and how the System interacts with the user (and Vice-versa), with focus on features to make android even more powerful, without being less attractive for new users.

App Permissions: FINALLY, We can’t deny android didn’t really handle permissions well before, sure in a security point of view it was working, however the interaction between how it handles them was non-existent. If an app didn’t have a permission for what it was trying to do, it would just crash, the user itself would not even know. As a developer you would need to read the logcats to see what happened, it was a mess for the user, you either had the app and you let it use all the permissions it wanted, or you didn’t install it. Finally this is over, however I still feel sad at the fact it won’t work with apps targeted for earlier versions than M. It’s still hard to find versions targeting L or even KK (most apps are JB, with features via app compat, and I know the difference between min sdk and target sdk).

Doze and per app hibernating: Useless on phones and to be honest it’s not more than just a hacky fix. The system should have better integration with apps, it’s sad but the more apps you have the more sluggish your system will run. This isn’t something we see on iOS and WP. I’m sorry but once you need to make a new service to make a custom keyboard, something just seems wrong.

Cardboard: Good idea, however since I live in Brazil I will not see anything from it, for me this is just an experiment, I believe in the future google will make another VR project based on cardboard. Which would explain why they have not mass marketed it.

Project ARA: Oh this one, this should have been on the keynote alongside android M, the demo was good and bad at same time. I personally have a lot to say, ARA will fail even counting the fact that google will sell it, most of people who will buy are techies and such some months later it’s going be doomed. The project however, will go on. I don’t know but a lot of things from the small to the bigger just felt wrong on that demo, it seems that it is my paranoia but:

  • The pieces were added in such a particular order.
  • He said “applications processor” instead of SOC (and I bet he knows the difference), which lead me to think that there is a co-processor handling all the communication inside the main frame.
  • How it will handle other SOC (remember, the SOC controls everything, not just CPU/GPU, it goes from display to usb port to the bootloaders).
  • Why didn’t they made the display also detachable? they could have made a frame with just the base chips,a big nand (8gb) JUST for the system and some low level bootloaders (like a bios in a pc), on it you could attach what you wanted, and with 8gb just for the system, they could have made a build of android with assets for all densities, etc.
  • How are the antennas being handled? Another chip inside the main display frame? If so how again, will it handle other processors, camera, etc.
  • Why it was running launcher2? AOSP by default builds launcher 3 since KK, launcher 2 we only see in phones upgraded from JB to KK or L.

However the demo at least showed us that ARA was actually a thing and it was somewhat working, even being a “safe” environment.

I/O overall: It seemed more organized than last years however I didn’t like it that much, it didn’t bring much. The only thing for me that helped when developing was the update to the Material design guidelines and the fact that finally, after almost 2 years Android Studio is fully supporting the NDK. I also liked the fact they gone and made more I/O widespread not just in the main cities, e.g. we had I/O extended to my town, and it was pretty cool.”


 

These were just a few of the responses we received, but you can already see recurring themes and concerns. Coming up to the final release of Android M this fall we will no doubt see more opinions and thoughts arise. To read the concerns of Senior Recognised Developer Pulser regarding backups head over to here. Or to see our summary of the event head over here!

What do you think to the Google I/O and Android M announcements? Leave a comment below!

The post XDA Forum Member Opinions on I/O and Android M appeared first on xda-developers.

Discover XDA: Discover Greater

Posted by wicked May - 26 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

XDA

We’ve all been there at some point in our XDA lives; we used to spend hours browsing over the forums but now we seem to be stuck inside the same one device and a few software threads. I’m here today to help you out of that rut. With over 2.5 million threads, you can be sure to find a new area of interest. Even if you do not currently have an interest in some of the alternate forums, it’s not hard to find projects that can completely change your future in development.

 

Hardware Hacking

Of course, the main focus at XDA is software development, but that does not mean our hardware is not just as important. Taking a look over at the General thread, you quickly find everything from repairs for loose micro usb ports to the almost impossible task of upgrading your phone’s RAM. This forum is also home to several categories of hardware hacks including:

  • NFC
    – The controversial and emerging technology of NFC implants
    – NFC tag removal hacks to allow your phone to run tasks only for the duration it is in range of a tag
    Gain control of the NFC HCE controller and enable true Tap and Pay abilities for AOSP based ROMs

 

 

  • Chromecast
    – Check out this definitive guide to all things Chromecast
    – Have a question? It may have been asked in this incredibly in-depth FAQ
    – Flash a new rom to your cast, with the long developed Eureka rom

 

General Discussion

It’s not all about phones here, we also have a general discussion section. With the vast variety of threads, even the best of us get lost on occasion, head on over to XDA assist for help from our team of experts finding your way. Alternatively if you desire a break from developing we have an off-topic forum, featuring some bizarre and wonderful conversations, such as the three word story thread which is now at 117,000 words after five years and numerous tangents. Also found here are threads on tips for finding new TV shows and even the occasional thread requesting male fashion advice. On the more serious side of this forum you can find:

  • About XDA
    – Did you know we are in the process of building XDA one, the first XDA app built entirely in house?
    – Think you deserve to be a recognized Contributor/Themer? Apply here
    – Is XDA missing your device? There is a place you can ask for new devices to be added, that place is here.

 

  • Security
    – Just what is Responsible Disclosure?
    – Learn many great tips for making your devices more secure
    – And of course a great list of security contacts for some important OEMs and carriers

 

Of course these aren’t the only forums you may have missed out on, I frequently find new threads almost at random by simply editing the URL. All forums are represented by a number which can be found at the end of your URL shown here as “*”, try changing them to random numbers for a more adventurous experience.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=******

These are just the beginning of your next great discovery. Taking a stroll through some of the threads you may have never visited before can really have some great results. Finding a new project to work on or learning something entirely new could be waiting just a few forums over. Try it out, next time you head to the forums try browsing a new section for a short while, you could be surprised at what you find.

Which forum/thread do you visit that is not related to your rom/software? Leave a comment below!

The post Discover XDA: Discover Greater appeared first on xda-developers.

Introducing Voices of XDA: Have Your Ideas Heard

Posted by wicked May - 22 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 9.38.51 AM

By far the greatest assets we have at XDA-Developers are you, the developers, the eager to learn and the bold. Everyday we see innovation and brilliant ideas across the site, from this we know that many of you have great insight in to your respective fields. That is why today, I am honored to announce a new project that will allow us to work with you directly to have your views and thoughts expressed clearer than ever. Introducing:

 

Voices of xda

 

From today onwards you will start to see new articles appearing regularly on the front page of our site, these will be written not by us the Portal team but by you the members. If you see something relevant that you feel strongly about, why not analyze it and let the world know? If you have a unique or interesting view on a subject, again, why shouldn’t you share it with the community? We are frequently asked by members looking to start in journalism, “What is it like to be a news writer for xda-developers?” Well, here’s your chance to find out.

Their are a few guidelines for Voices of xda:

  • As always keep it relevant and interesting,
  • Do your research,
  • Writing a feature advertising your new app, rom, kernal etc will not be accepted, instead send us a tip,
  • Even if your idea is not initially accepted, we may still work with you to grow and develop your idea.

If you are interested and would like to see your work on the xda portal fill out the form here and we will get back to you soon!

Who would you like to see write a feature for the portal? Leave a comment below!

The post Introducing Voices of XDA: Have Your Ideas Heard appeared first on xda-developers.

XDA Picks: Best Apps of the Week (Apr 17 – 24)

Posted by wicked April - 25 - 2015 - Saturday Comments Off

xdaappsoftheweek

Apps are at the front and center of any smartphone experience, and with over a million apps on the Google Play Store and new apps being submitted to our forums every day, staying up to date on the latest apps and games can be a hassle. At XDA, we don’t discriminate apps – if it’s interesting, innovative, original or useful, we mention them. The XDA Portal Team loves apps too, and we usually share and discuss the latest app releases at our virtual office.  Here we present to you some of our favorite apps of this week, take a look!

 

Iris – Walk While Using Any App [BETA]

irisFirst up is Iris by XDA Junior Member nyomidev. This app is currently in beta, but we gave it a try and it worked very well. The concept is simple: Iris puts a transparent overlay of your camera on top of everything on your phone, and you can modify the opacity to your liking. The idea of using it while walking might sound gimmicky, but the apps works wonderfully well with surprisingly smooth camera action. It’s obviously not the most battery-friendly app out there, but the concept and its execution make for a rather surreal effect that is worth experiencing, even if just once!

SMSmart – Access Apps Via SMS [FREE]

smsOut of data? This application brings back to life a tried and true method of pretend-internet through SMS, and while text messages might not be the best way of getting Google Search results anymore, doing so without using up precious bytes can be a life (or pocket) saver. With this app, you can tweet and read your twitter feed “offline”, do internet searches, read news, find restaurants and even get directions in case you are lost. The app re-structures the information in a tidy interface to make it much easier to read, too, so on the front it functions just like a regular app.

Mortal Kombat X [FREE/IAP]

mkxMany of us grew up playing this game at arcade machines, but now you can get the visceral fighting action right on your smartphone. The game is free with in-app purchases (sadly), but it is still fun enough for those that simply want to blow some steam or check out the remastered fatalities on your 1440p panels. The game features online multiplayer for groups of up to 3 players, and given it is a new game, it has a lot of room to grow and improve. The graphics are phenomenal, but keep in mind the requirements are higher than those of an average game, that it has a “High Maturity” rating and that it is only available in select regions for now.

Glimpse Notifications – Saves You a Button Press! [FREE]

glimpsesXDA Senior Member xrad has a quality-of-life application that will make your notification-checking process more efficient than ever: with this app, you no longer need to press the power button to check your lockscreen notifications. This app lights up your screen with incoming notifications, showing you the contents right on your lockscreen, but it also recognizes when it is facing down or in your pocket to avoid wasting battery. And if that’s not enough, the app has an unpocketing mode that lights up your screen as you take your phone out of you pocket. The best part? No special permissions, no ads and completely free! You can read more about this app here.

Collateral – Notes at Notifications Panel [FREE]

collThis is a simple productivity app with a beautiful interface that allows you to create notes and lists that reside in your notification area. You can use these for reminders, important notes you shouldn’t forget about or to-do lists. Like many productivity apps, this is what you make of it, and given that the notification panel is available throughout the entire OS, there are endless ways to make it handy. The main app features over 300 icons to choose from as well as DashClock extensions, and there is more in the premium version if you are willing to pay. If you love material apps, though, you’ll certainly love this app’s look.

Notable Updates:

  • Google Keep was updated to easily browse notes on your wrist through your Android Wear watch, which goes along perfectly with the voice command integration of the platform. You also get the ability to add reminders to your notes directly from Wear, including recurring reminders. Finally, the Android app itself now allows you to add labels to notes to stay organized.
  • Action Launcher 3.4 is out, bringing a plethora of new additions and improvements such as an improved widget picker, a more customizable All Apps grid, vertical scrolling All Apps and widget lists, font configuration and more. You can read the full change log here.
  • DashClock Widget is perhaps one of the most popular widget apps out there, featuring stylish clocks with a huge number of extensions that add all sorts of data glimpses and functions. The application’s UI was lacking a refresh, though, and in the DashClock Widget 1.7 Beta 1 release you’ll find a Material Design interface that brings the app up to speed.

That is it for this week. We hope that you might have found some of these apps as interesting, useful or entertaining as we did. Whether you are a student, a developer, a designer or a gamer, Android has you covered. We will try to reflect that each week with a variety of picks to spark your interest, and if you see (or publish!) any new apps that you think are worthy of a feature, be sure to send us a tip and we’ll give it a look. Until next time!

 

The post XDA Picks: Best Apps of the Week (Apr 17 – 24) appeared first on xda-developers.

The Devices Behind The XDA Team

Posted by wicked April - 22 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

XDA devices

In a recent episode of XDA TV, TK explained which phone he uses and what he was running on it, but what about the rest of the news team? XDA has an incredibly diverse team from many walks of life and locations, so here we will explore just how that is reflected in our chosen devices. Each member of the team was asked a few simple questions: Which devices do you use, what software are you running, their reasons for choosing them, what devices they would be buying next and what has been their favorite device? Their answers may surprise you.

Mathew Brack

My daily device is a Xiaomi Mi Note Bamboo edition running MIUI 6 (but if anyone is working on a CM or TWRP build for it, drop me a message). I also have my faithful Galaxy Note 2 running CM11, Paranoid Android and MIUI 6 on multiROM which now is being mainly used as a FTP server and NFC Tag writer for my implant as the Mi Note lacks NFC. I love the look and feel of the Mi note, it runs really well and whilst understandably not having a huge development backing, spending even a short while with it reminds of the feeling I had when I got my N7100. I also have a Nexus 7 for personal use and a Galaxy Tab 4 for my work with drones at my university, both of which are running stock. As far as wearables go, I only own a Xiaomi Mi band which I love for the month-long battery life, aided by a modified Mi Fit app. As for my next purchase, I’ll be buying project Ara as soon as I can and possibly the next Nexus depending on manufacturer and specs. My favourite phone to date has to be the Note 2, that phone has taken so much abuse, has a legendary developer backing and has come out all the better for it. Although the T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream) will always have a special place in my heart, that slide out keyboard was a nightmare to use with in retrospect and boot up time was horrific but back then it seemed like the perfect device.

Emil Kako

I went from using the HTC One M7, to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, to finally settling on the OnePlus One (no pun intended). I found the form factor and screen size of the OnePlus One to be the most ideal for me personally. While the Note 3 before it had great battery life, I have yet to use any device with battery life as good as the OnePlus One. As far as ROMs go, I gave OxygenOS a trial run for a few days, but it’s just too early in development and lacks too many features in comparison to CM. I’m currently running Cyanogen 12 S and don’t have many complaints.

My next Android device will most likely be between the OnePlus Two and LG G4. Although OnePlus has made some questionable choices this year, their first flagship has been one hell of a phone, and I’m expecting its successor to be just as impressive. The G4 also seems to be quite the device, based on the recent leaks and rumors. If the camera on it is really as good as it is being hyped to be, it will be hard for me to stay away from it.

I don’t really have a favorite phone to date, but I have to admit that I hold a bit of sentiment to my first smartphone ever, the Blackberry Bold 9000. It was magnificent at the time, and was my first introduction to the world of smartphones. It’s been quite the ride ever since.

Jeremy Meiss (Jerdog)

I use: Moto X 2014 (stock 5.1); Xperia Z3 (stock 5.0.2); Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact (stock 5.0.2); Nexus 9 (stock 5.0.1);  Nexus 5 (Omni 5.1) and an LG G Watch.

I like to pick devices that are as close to stock Android as possible, and then utilize ROMs (if needed) which amplify that if I need to go a custom ROM route, I rarely use something that is based on stock because in many cases (with rare exception) those “enhancements” end up being snake oil. So if I go a custom ROM route, it’s going to be something solid and built from source by reputable developers;

With my job (both for XDA and Fastboot Mobile), I come in contact with a lot of different devices across a lot of different markets from a lot of different manufacturers – and so these are the ones I like the most (so far). That being said – I am interested to see what the next Nexus device is, if Google goes back and does a Nexus 5 2015. I am also very interested in the LG G Flex 2 and G4. And as always, I am interested in seeing what Sony deploys with the Z4. Samsung and HTC just haven’t done anything for me in a while, so I don’t have any plans for a device from one of them. My favorite device? That’s like asking me “What is your favorite movie?” because for me you can’t boil it down to one – there are categories for a reason. But, my favorite phone to date would probably be either the Nexus 5 for its OS versatility, or the Z3 for the battery life and power, and my favorite tablet would have to be the Asus Transformer (original) for its trans-desktop abilities.

Tomek Kondrat

I use a OnePlus One with various ROMs. Mostly Omni and SlimSaber, but I’m giving a try to CM12S as of late. Omni is very clear and doesn’t use CAF hybrid while SlimSaber is one of the most complete and bug-free ROMs I have ever used. My next purchase? Tricky question. It’ll Probably be the next Nexus. My favorite device so far… all were great. The best phone I’ve ever owned was probably the Nexus 4. No bugs at all. But I have extreme sentiment to my old Xperia X8 which got me on XDA.

Mario Serrafero

My current daily driver is a white Galaxy Note 4 (SM-N910T) covered in wood-themed DBrand skins. My second carry is a silver Moto 360 with a cognac band, which has just recently replaced my Gear Live. I also have a Note 3 (SM-N900) lying around, and back in my country there’s a Galaxy S3 (GT-I9300) and Nexus 5 awaiting my arrival – both lent out to my parents. Sick of waiting for T-Mobile, I flashed the Canadian BOC4 firmware to my Note 4, as the Canadian variant (N910W8) has the exact same hardware as the T-Mobile Note 4. I also dualboot CyanogenMod 12.1 Nightlies on the side, and switch around to get what I consider “the best of both worlds”. My Moto 360 runs stock Wear without many apps in the way, but a healthy amount of watchfaces. I actually like some of TouchWiz, and since the Note 3 brought pen-window and better stylus integration, the Note series has carried what I consider the most productive Android ROM you can get. With the recent optimizations and sheer hardware of the Note series, I have no performance issues (other than a slight recents menu delay which has dramatically diminished on Lollipop). The appearance of TouchWiz is still an issue to me, which is why I typically flash themes to remedy that. The Note 4’s multi-window is, hands down, the best multitasking implementation in a mobile OS. It completely changes the way I approach the virtual space and navigation within it, and it is just one of the indispensable productivity features I depend on.

The Note 4’s hardware is outstanding in every sense, but I could have stayed with my Note 3. Sadly, my version didn’t include 4G LTE which I came to love in America. The camera, battery life and screen (oh, the screen!) are all the best I’ve had and some of the best out there, and I bought the thing on a $150 discount to boot. I run CyanogenMod 12.1 on the side to still re-visit the zippy beauty of Material Design, but I spend most of my time on TouchWiz 5.0.2. As far as my Moto 360 goes, I picked it up during the Best Buy discount craze (for those unfamiliar, you could get one for as little as $50 if you played it smart). I love it to death and the band and design match with most of my wardrobe as well as my wood-backed phone. No regrets!

Despite my affinity for Note phones, I don’t quite consider myself “loyal” to Samsung. With rumors saying that LG will eventually bring a Stylus, and the sure-coming of multi-window to Stock Android, chances are I might step out of the Note line I am so accustomed to. And if those (and a few other) conditions are met as the Note 5 also does not bring back the microSD slot nor the removable battery… then I’ll migrate for sure. The Blackberry Curve 8310 is my favorite device, but for special reasons: it brought me into the mobile fandom by blowing my mind with amazing web-browsing capabilities… for the time, anyway. I wouldn’t be writing this if it wasn’t for that fellow. As far as actual hardware and UX go, I would say my current Note 4. There’s nothing I would change

GermainZ

I’m currently using an S4 with TouchWiz. I’d ideally run Omni but TouchWiz has the best battery life, camera and audio quality right now. I’ve only tried the Ace i, S3, S4 and S5 though I haven’t owned all of these. My favorite among these is the S4 or S5. My favorite fictional phone would have an AMOLED screen like Samsung/Moto phones, a battery like the Elephone P5000, and great dev support like Nexus devices

Chris Gilliam

My daily driver is a Nexus 6, and it’s running stock, rooted, & unencrypted Android 5.1. That said, tweaking custom ROMs and kernels is half the fun of owning a developer phone, so I don’t expect it to stay this pristine for long. The rooted and decrypted state are products of my desire for Greenify/Tasker/Xposed, and for a faster opening Google Camera; encryption kills NAND read/write speed, and slows the shutter.

As for my choice of phone, life with Verizon’s bootloader locking shenanigans and high plan prices taught me to value open systems. This handset can follow me to any carrier on the continent, and should stay a viable piece of hardware and software for years to come thanks to its specs, Google backing, and popularity here on the forums – a truly flexible and future-proof device. Beyond that, I wanted something with a top-notch camera. The outstanding sensor and Camera2 API support on this phone certainly fit the bill, and only the Galaxy S6 (unannounced when I purchased) can rival some of the things I can do with a DNG and manual focus.

The Nexus isn’t my only smart-device, though. In an unexpected and recent turn of events, it’s now flanked by two wearables – a Moto 360 and a Xiaomi Mi Band. Both were purchased far below their list prices, which is how they came to be in my possession, but I still believe the smartatch market lacks the advanced sensors that will bring quantified self tracking to the masses. Show me a two-day battery, mature blood glucose sensor (for real-time calorie intake), and Android Wear, and then we’ll talk. Until then, I’m hoping to be proven wrong with existing tech. The Mi Band and its unofficially tweaked app are off to a good start with notifications and Smart Unlock, and the 360 has proven its worth at parties where stealing a glance at the forecast via watch is easier than using a more noticeable phone, but only time will tell.

I’m still in the honeymoon phase with these purchases, so thoughts of my next devices aren’t yet fully formed. However, the Ara’s interchangeable modules, and the truly open HTML5-based ecosystems of Ubuntu OS and Firefox OS definitely have my attention. Wearables remain a “wait-and-see.”

My favorite phone to date is Samsung’s US variants of the Galaxy S3, circa 2012. At the time, they were the most revolutionary pieces of hardware and software anyone had seen, and I might still be using mine today with a microSD and Zero Lemon battery if it was a hair easier to mod and Verizon had made it worth my while to keep paying the data premiums. The S3 packs NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, an HD AMOLED display with a respectable 306 PPI (only a few shy of the iPhone 6, and well above the threshold most human eyes can detect), and the removable battery & microSD card slot to which I earlier alluded. Slap on Lollipop, and it’s actually better than many mid-range phones today, three years later.

Mike McCrary

I use an AT&T Galaxy Note 3 running stock Lollipop 5.0, an Apple iPad Air 2 WiFi on iOS 8.3 and a SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip with Rockbox custom firmware. I chose the Note 3 for the awesome screen, great pen features and long battery life. The iPad Air 2 for Music Production workhorse, the external Logic controller, and it’s a tablet to lounge around the house with. SanDisk Sansa has Superior DAC, long battery life, plays FLACs loaded onto SD card effortlessly, ton of EQ/Sound settings and it’s small and pocketable. My next phone upgrade is in December so my options are open, however I’m looking more into Android Wear devices at the moment. My favourite device is hands down the Note 3. It’s the best phone I’ve ever owned.

Aamir Siddiqui

I currently use a HTC Desire S. It’s a donated device I received from an XDA Member 2 years ago, and it was an upgrade over my previous device at that stage. Even though the phone is roughly 5 years old, it still performs like a champ in considering the age of its hardware. I did have to chew through a couple of batteries to get this far, because Overclocking takes its hit on the battery.

For my daily use, I use an older build of CM10.1 compiled by Senior Member blindndumb. The OS isn’t the most up to date, but after a lot of experimentation and fiddling around, I found this ROM build to be perfect for my usage pattern. For experimentation and playing around, I tend to flash CM12.1 (yes, you read that right)  by XDA senior member kylon. They are pretty good to get a feel of how the OS has progressed and how it performs on older hardware. As for my next purchase I was just waiting on the OnePlus announcement to see if they would announce something worth waiting for. Looks like I’m getting a OnePlus One within a few days.

Faiz Malkani

I use a Nexus 4, Nexus 9, Nvidia Shield, Moto G and LG G Watch. They are all stock and rooted. The look of the devices influences my choice a lot. Up next for me is the OnePlus Two and my favorite phone to date is the OnePlus One.

As you can see whilst many of us share an interest in particular phones, we have vastly different experiences from them. With the industry changing rapidly, several years from now we could see a complete change in these devices, OEMs and preferences.

Were these answers as you would expect? What are your answers to the questions? Leave a comment below!

The post The Devices Behind The XDA Team appeared first on xda-developers.

Material [Re]design

Posted by wicked April - 8 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Material Design

With Material Design seeing increasingly widespread adoption, it is clear the environment is here to stay for the foreseeable future. As such, we are seeing developers and users a like voicing their opinions on the new style frequently, but how does the community as a whole view MD? We recently asked you whether you preferred Material Design or Holo. The results clearly showed a rift between the two camps with many of you liking the concept of MD but yearned for the darkness offered by Holo. App developers have been seen to be more positive of the new style as it has brought a potential end to fragmentation between user experiences, we also spoke with several developers here at XDA that have implemented MD in their apps. There is a sense of optimism about the changes and how they will affect the future of their apps.

You The Community

The question we asked was a simple one “Do you prefer the new Material Design implemented in Android, or the previous HOLO?” and we saw many excellent points in favour of both. Here are just a few of the responses we thought best answered the debate.

gaspernemec – “Material ALL the way, I mean android finally got rid of that boring greyish/black design and went to something modern more colorful in mix with white design, plus some pretty awesome animations. It’s better design from every point of view.”

meyerweb – “Holo, without question. MD is too bright, too gaudy, and the color combinations must have been chosen by someone who is color blind. And all the animations are cute for the first week, then they’re just tiresome and make the UI slower.”

iks8 – “I love material but it’s pretty heavy and app design is very inconsistent right now. Even google apps have different style (for example some apps has side menu overlapping status bar and some haven’t)”

vyis – “Definitely holo. Material design is work of an artist, looks over function.”

Chilly Hellion – “I vote Material Design. When Holo came out, I remember thinking that it really worked for Android and it was a good design for mobile. But when Material Design came out I thought about how much I’d like to see the design implemented on other platforms as well. Holo is great, but Google really knocked it out of the park with Material Design.”

neonixxx  - “I like flat graphics, but I don’t think *everything* has the be flattened. The glowing overscroll effect from KitKat was definitely a more pleasing effect. Although, this is such a minor thing anyway; it doesn’t bother me too much.”

Development is at the heart of our community, it is likely that with an increased uptake from app developers we will also see a positive increase in our micro-societal perceptions of the platform. Most of us will have noticed the new sense of consistency between applications and surely that can only be a good thing. With that in mind we reached out to several of apps developers here to find out how they felt and what they have in store for the designs of their apps.

Andrognito 2

“Material Design is the biggest design overhaul to come to Android, and it’s amazing in every way. It’s bold, beautiful, elegant and simple. We now have a design language to follow and create consistent experience for the users. MD is heavily inspired from our real world objects and their behaviour and that is what makes it even better. Personally, as a developer and an avid Android user, I liked almost everything about Android except its UI pre-Lollipop. But now I am absolutely amazed with its beauty, simplicity and elegance.

Currently, I have lots of new features like Pattern Lock, Stealth Camera, native photo and video viewer, etc to add to Andrognito. But specifically in terms of design, I would love to give more customizability to the users like a full-fledged Theme Manager in-built in the app. Users can change the themes, colors, fonts and much more. Mostly, we have received positive reviews on the Dark UI of the app, but we would also like to bring a Light version on user demand. We are also looking forward to add more Material-inspired animations everywhere in the app.”

Smart Unlock

“I think Material Design is a step forward in the right direction. Finally Android has the look and feel that it deserves. You can create very intuitive applications, beautiful and with pleasant animations. We will not change much with the design as we are happy with it and most users seems to like it too. We will likely add an intro tutorial on the first app run, with some slides similar to how Google does on most of their apps, showing how to use the app (despite it not being necessary for most of the users) Many users have also requested a toggle to switch to a “dark” theme version of Smart Unlock, we may consider it for future addition.”

Hi Locker

“I liked MD from the first time I saw it. It’s beautiful, smooth but modern. MD create a standard that enables applications to be homogeneous, so the user will feel easy when using different apps. MD has created a balance on the UI between iOS and Android than before. Currently, I have applied MD for my apps and for the future as well. But I will try to create the difference in my design style than the other apps.”

Corgi

“I think Material Design is just revolutionary, it makes so much sense. Mainly, in my opinion, it solves 2 very important problems. Firstly, it helps developers, who might not have so many design skills, to create beautiful apps just by following the guidelines. This let’s developers spend more time on crafting ideas instead of designing them. Secondly, it helps to keep the Android UX aligned and in my opinion it is very important. From my personal experience, using Material Design apps is just awesome, everything feels so intuitive and easy to understand. Once you learn how one app works, all the others are easy, since they are quite the same. In a couple of years, we might get bored of the bold colors and the material design “layers concept” but I’m pretty sure we will get addicted to the unified design all over the OS and its 3rd party apps. This is the future!

For sure we are going to keep up the Material Design, but we are going to tweak the apps experience. Some of the things we implemented like the “+” button containing shortcuts, might not be as useful as we’ve expected. But mainly these are the small things. One big thing we are going to implement is the list view, the type that Feedly has, showing multiple articles on a page. Another thing, is that the settings menu is still quite empty, we will be implementing new options there, that will let user tweak the design themselves. Lastly, we will be adding notifications to the lock screen, something all of our Lollipop users are demanding. Overall, we have a lot of ideas and concepts in our head both for Corgi and other apps but the main thing we are aiming for is to design new ways of how we consume content.”

With less than a year having passed since its unveiling at last years I/O, Material Design is still very much in its infancy. Love it or hate it, the new style benefits us in ways other than aesthetics, providing simple guidelines for new potential developers it could become a keystone to Android over the coming years.

Do you feel Material Design should be applied to an app you use? Leave a comment below

The post Material [Re]design appeared first on xda-developers.

Google to Acquire XDA, Dev Rewards & Policy Changes

Posted by wicked April - 1 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 6.06.16 PM

We are delighted to announce that starting on April 20th, a finalized deal with Google will make XDA Developers a software development division for the beloved search giant. This exciting transition will start as early as next week, where new XDA Talent Scouts from Google will browse our forums and reward the best contributors and offer them software development or design positions as well. A new set of XDA Forum Moderators from Google’s Legal Department will also make sure that the new policies that arise from the acquisition are met.

Why XDA, and why now?

As you might have heard, Cyanogen Inc has recently been scaling up their campaign against Google – and we all recognize that this will be no good for the future of Android. At XDA, we also recognize the fame that CyanogenMod versions have amassed in our community, and we are partnering with Google to offer lovers and contributors of CyanogenMod an even better solution. CyanogenMod volunteer maintainers and contributors will also see a lot of love from both XDA as Google, for the upcoming changes in AOSP will give XDA a privilege no other site will have.

Starting next fall, all custom ROM and kernel development on XDA will be commissioned** by Google. Application development can go on as usual. Some contributions and discussions regarding root methods will still be hosted, but the threads can be closed at a moment’s notice once Google can tighten up security through the findings. Changing our stance on custom ROMs might sound unlike the spirit of XDA, but as you may know we thrive on Android – which means development will not cease. XDA and Google are beginning to revamp the forums to provide a means to offer contributions, applications, changes, and ultimately new code and resources directly to Google for them to review and – if you are lucky – implement into their future Android releases.

How does this benefit Android?

First of all, XDA will receive Android updates and AOSP sources before anyone else!* By having our loyal developers upload their work directly to Google, the company will have the ability to have a clean look at all of their work and decide which bits are worthy of future Android updates. The contributing developers may be rewarded accordingly**, which should encourage any volunteer maintainer to support Google instead of Cyanogen.

How does it work for us developers?

Simple! If you are an XDA developer, things will work exactly the same except for the fact that your contributions must be uploaded to Google servers and will not be available for download in your thread. We encourage you to treat the rest of the system exactly like you have before: you can have your thread banner, introduction, feature lists, changelogs, and important information.

How will other users get access to my contributions?

They will not, and our new policies are strict about that. You could even be fined if you repeatedly violate the new rules, so we don’t suggest doing so. We encourage you to read our updated Terms of Service once they are available. On the bright side, bug complaints from angry XDA members will no longer be a problem, which will ultimately be a benefit that will save you a lot of time and stress.

I am a user, how does this affect me?

Like we said earlier, all application development in XDA will go on as usual. The few aspects of the site that will be affected by the acquisition are those regarding certain root methods, custom ROMs, low-level mods, cosmetic mods, themes, custom kernels, Xposed, Xposed modules, unmonitored Android hacking, threads asking how to unbrick phones, anything related to CyanogenMod and any comment that speaks positively of Cyanogen Inc. You will still be able to go on XDA to discuss the latest custom ROM or mods, you just won’t be able to get them. Every other amazing app and game will still be there for you to download!

What will happen to all current custom ROMs?

Every download link will be removed, but the threads will remain in there for discussion about how good/bad they are/were.

Our Vision

When Google was first being founded, their ambitions were big – so big that their very name is inspired by the humongous “googol” number. Google’s ultimate ambition, then, is to reach a googol Android users, and to do this they must keep Android going forward. By concentrating XDA’s development prowess directly at Google’s software division, Android’s future accomplishments can only be dreamed of. And by debilitating Cyanogen’s Google-free (and rather unfree and full of other closed source services) Android and strengthening Play Services and Google Apps, the technological future we all want for our lives will come before we know it.

This marks an exciting day for the XDA community. A lot more is coming soon including big changes to the website’s appearance, but for now let’s aim to bring Google all of our code so that Android lives on!

 

*XDA members will have access to new Android versions 2 business days before they officially published and roll out for everyone else
**Developers will be rewarded with Play Store credit. Rewards not guaranteed.

The post Google to Acquire XDA, Dev Rewards & Policy Changes appeared first on xda-developers.